Differences Between Smooth and Skeletal Muscle

Last Updated on March 19, 2022 by QCity Editorial Stuff

Skeletal muscle is skeletal and attaches to the bone by tendons. Smooth muscle, on the other hand, is found within organs such as the stomach or intestines. The point of attachment for smooth muscles is not just at joints but also anywhere that their fibers have been inserted into a tissue wall. One major difference between these two types of muscle cells is in how they contract: a single-unit action in which all of the sarcomeres in a single line pull together simultaneously followed by relaxation; versus contracting over time with individual sarcomeres only relaxing when others are contracted.

Skeletal muscle and smooth muscle are two different types of muscles, both found in the human body. Skeletal muscle is under voluntary control and has a striated appearance due to the orderly arrangement of contractile protein filaments that can be seen when viewed with an electron microscope. Smooth muscle operates involuntarily and is not under conscious control, as it does not have any give or stretch between individual fibers. The two types function differently due to their unique characteristics.

Comparison between Smooth and Skeletal Muscle

Parameters of ComparisonSmooth MuscleSkeletal Muscle
VoluntarySkeletal muscle is voluntarysmooth muscle involuntary
FoundSmooth muscles are usually found in the walls of organsskeletal muscles are attached to bones
CellThe cells that make up skeletalsmooth muscles have different shapes
FiberSmooth muscle cells don’t have myofibrils because they’re not striatedSkeletal muscle fibers contain myofibrils
BoneSkeletal muscles attach to bones via tendons smooth muscles do not have any attachment points

What is Smooth Muscle?

Smooth muscle is a type of non-striated muscle that can be found in many places throughout the body. This includes, but is not limited to, the walls of stomachs and intestines, blood vessels such as arteries and veins, and even hair follicles. Smooth muscles contract involuntarily when stimulated by stimuli from other parts of the body or brain. 

Smooth muscle is a type of involuntary, non-striated muscle that can contract and relax in response to stimuli. Smooth muscle cells are found in both the wall of blood vessels and the digestive system as well as other areas such as the urinary bladder, eye, nose, ear canal, and uterus. These cells have a single nucleus located near the cell membrane with few mitochondria or myofibrils within the cytoplasm which make up for their lack of striations. This makes them different from skeletal muscles which contain more mitochondria and myofibrils to contract due to their need for strength. In contrast, smooth muscles require less force because they are not under constant stress like skeletal muscles but instead must be stimulated b by a nervous system-controlled response.

Differences Between Smooth and Skeletal Muscle

What is Skeletal Muscle?

Skeletal muscle is a voluntary muscle that is responsible for moving the body. It makes up about 40% of our total muscle mass and is connected to the bones via tendons. Skeletal muscles are used to move our limbs, lift weights, and perform many other everyday activities. Understanding how skeletal muscle works is essential for maintaining good overall health. In this post, we’ll explore the anatomy of skeletal muscle and discuss its function in the body. Stay tuned for future posts on how to keep your skeletal muscles healthy.

We all know what muscle is, and we often associate it with our limbs and trunk. But what is skeletal muscle? Skeletal muscle is a type of striated muscle tissue that makes up the majority of our muscles. It’s responsible for skeletal movement, posture, and balance. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at skeletal muscle anatomy and function. We’ll also explore some common injuries and conditions that can affect skeletal muscle.

Differences Between Smooth and Skeletal Muscle

9 Differences Between Smooth and Skeletal Muscle

1. Skeletal muscle is voluntary and smooth muscle involuntary.

2. Smooth muscles are usually found in the walls of organs, while skeletal muscles are attached to bones.

3. The cells that make up skeletal and smooth muscles have different shapes.

4. Skeletal muscle fibers contain myofibrils, which give them a striped appearance.

5. Smooth muscle cells don’t have myofibrils because they’re not striated.

6. Skeletal muscles contract voluntarily; whereas, smooth muscles contract involuntarily in response to stimuli such as hormones or nerve stimulation.

7. Smooth muscles are found in the stomach and intestines, while skeletal muscles are found in the limbs.

8. Skeletal muscles attach to bones via tendons whereas smooth muscles do not have any attachment points.

9. The cells of a smooth muscle cell are arranged into sheets with no spaces between them, but the cells of a skeletal muscle cell are arranged into bundles that contain both thick and thin filaments  6. Many types of smooth muscle contractions happen involuntarily – for example, peristalsis which helps move food through your digestive tract.

Interesting Statistics or Facts of Smooth Muscle

1. Smooth muscle is found in the walls of blood vessels, intestines, and airways.

2. It can contract or relax to help regulate blood pressure or food passage through the digestive system.

3. When it contracts, it helps maintain an open airway by reducing the size of the opening between two cartilage rings that make up a person’s larynx (voice box).

4. The cells that make up smooth muscles are called myocytes; they have one nucleus each and their cytoplasm fills most of their volume.

5. Smooth muscle tissue has more mitochondria than other types of tissues because it needs lots of energy for all its activity.

6. Blood flow to your lungs is controlled by smooth muscles in your bronchi (the tubes branching off from your windpipe); when they contract, they narrow down these tubes so less air flows out with each breath you take.

Interesting Statistics or Facts of Skeletal Muscle

1. Skeletal muscle is the largest organ in your body.

2. There are more than 600 skeletal muscles in your body.

3. Your heart has its own set of skeletal muscles to pump blood around your body.

4. The average person can control about 200 contractions per minute, but that number can be increased with training and exercise.

5. A single muscle contraction requires energy from the ATP molecule, which is created by breaking down stored glycogen through a process called glycolysis.

6. Skeletal muscles are made up of long cells called myofibrils that contain protein filaments (actin) and fat droplets (myoglobin).


The difference between smooth and skeletal muscle is that the former contracts involuntarily, while the latter contract voluntarily. This means that when your heart beats or you breathe in, your chest muscles are contracting without any conscious control from you. In contrast, if I want to raise my hand to answer a question in class then I need to consciously tell myself to do it- otherwise, my arm will stay still on its own. Understanding this basic distinction can help us better understand how our body works.

The article has shown you the difference between smooth and skeletal muscles, what they do in your body, their location in the human anatomy. This is why it’s important to know about this so that when we talk about such things as stretch reflexes or muscle spasms, you will have a better understanding of how these work. When someone asks for help with an injury involving either type of muscle tissue, it can be good to know which one they are referring to. Understanding the differences between them may even save lives if there was ever a medical emergency where quick action needs taken on behalf of patients who cannot speak up for themselves.


Resource 01: https://www.biologyonline.com/dictionary/smooth-muscle
Resource 02: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/21787-skeletal-muscle

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